School Insecurity: DeSoto County Schools, Part 1 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

School Insecurity: DeSoto County Schools, Part 1

For the third part of our hidden camera investigation into school security in the Mid-South, we traveled to DeSoto County, Mississippi.

Southaven High School appeared to do everything right.

An Action News Five producer was immediately confronted when she attempted to walk in, hiding a concealed camera. She noticed the doors to an inner hallway were kept locked and there appeared to be security cameras everywhere.

It may be the exception. Our exclusive undercover investigation revealed security concerns inside at least three other schools in DeSoto County.

Horn Lake Elementary was one of them. The doors to a hallway were locked, but from inside the office, another was wide open. In other words, anybody could easily walk around the locked doors. On the day of our investigation, there was no one in the office to stop us.

An Action News 5 hidden camera investigation tested six schools in DeSoto County. Half of those schools failed our test, they same percentage of failure as both Memphis City and Shelby County Schools.

We showed video from our investigation Miranda Mitchell, the parent of a Horn Lake Elementary student.

"It doesn't sound like something that should be happening," she said. "I come in here a lot during the day and have never seen that personally,"

Our staffer got into Olive Branch Middle School as well, with no questions asked. She walked down a hallway before voluntarily checking in at the office.

It was the same story at Hernando High School. Unlike Southaven High, there's no problem walking into this building. Our staffer, who could be any complete stranger, freely roamed the hallway. [TAKE SOT

Two other elementary schools we randomly visited in DeSoto County appeared to have no problems. Our producer was confronted by inquisitive employees at both Chickasaw Elementary in Olive Branch and Hope Sullivan Elementary in Southaven. The latter even appeared to have a hall monitor on duty.

Coming up tonight at 10, DeSoto County Schools call on an expert to respond to this hidden camera investigation.

Click here to send an email to Jason Miles.
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